St. Andrew’s United Church in Lacombe is continuing to play it safe in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Depsite being able to hold in-person worship, the church has chosen to remain digital for the time-being — along with hosting some small outdoor services in backyards and parking lots.
“We go by the guidelines of the Alberta Governmnet with distancing. There is no singing and there is no responsive praying, along with no tea, coffee or refreshments of any kind,” Barbara Lieurance, St. Andrew’s minister, said.
Lieurance said the Board decided it would be more advantageous to the Church congregation to stay online at this time.
“We miss seeing each other in person in the building, but our community of faith has a large number of senoirs over 65. Our main goal is to keep everyone safe and that is why we offering connections the way we are now. There is also a lot of phone calls and snail mail connections, so we are keeping in touch,” she said.
Despite the change, Lieurance said they have recieved very positive feedback regarding online interactions.
“People have enjoyed the flexibility of accessing online. If you aren’t available at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning, you can do it at 4 p.m. over a cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home. Technical abilities seem to be getting better all time time,” she said.
Lieurance said the church is encouraging its members to safely worship outside.
“Opportunities present themselves and we are now having Saturday evening bell ringing at 7 p.m. Our church choir can’t come together and sing right now, but they had a LMC parking lot gathering where they all brought lawn chairs and sat in a circle visiting. We encourage people to take those opportunities to connect with each other,” she said.
She added, “We are grateful for the support of the whole community and also how people are helping each other and staying strong through this time.”